We Need to Talk About Jeremy


This has become more relevant, not less, since 1992.  yeah, I know, everybody says “gun control”.  But nobody mentions the Kip Kinkels of the world, or the Harris’ and Klebolds, the Adam Lanzas.  Songs about school shootings (complete with shockingly realistic videos) become iconic; names of mass shooters become tattoed in our collective memory; the words “Columbine” and “Sandy Hook” become buzz words in the news.  But nobody talks about what society can, or SHOULD do for the angry, disturbed, unhinged, mentally ill young men (and I say young men because I haven’t heard or read about a mass shooting where a woman pulled the trigger) BEFORE they walk onto their high school or college campus armed to the teeth and blast people to smithereens.  Because I have a news flash for you: nobody wakes up one sunny Tuesday morning and says :Y’know what, I’m gonna turn school into my own personal shooting gallery today…after lit class and before history, I’m gonna start dropping bodies”  No, that’s the kind of thing you plan ahead of time.  And you have to be angry (about what, I have no idea) to plan to do something like that.  I’d like to think that those closest to the young men who end up doing these mass shootings (parents, teachers, friends, etc) are with it enough to notice when they’re so angry, to notice when mood or behavior changes and DO SOMETHING.

of course, even if anyone IS with it enough to notice a young man’s mood or behavior changing and ask what’s going on, even that might not accomplish anything.  Because (in the States, anyway, I don’t know about other places) young men don’t talk about their  feelings.  Oh sure, they HAVE feelings, they just fall victim to this idea that it’s not “manly” to open up about it.  So  they hold it all in, all the anger (and again, I don’t know WHAT makes a young man so angry he walks into school armed to the teeth and starts shooting) but whatever it is they’re holding in, well, you can only hold it in for so long…it HAS TO come out some way, somehow, sooner or later.  Columbine, Sandy Hook, Oregon…We need a radical overhaul.  We need to rethink the way we define “manly”.  Because it’s not very “manly” to show up at your school armed to the teeth and start shooting people. That’s actually rather cowardly (yeah, I said it, it’s cowardly, showing up with a firearm and picking off unsuspecting, unarmed people).  The REALLY manly thing is to deal with your anger in a healthy way, to speak to a parent, a teacher, a counselor, a psychiatrist even, to just fucking deal with it.  And then, rather than being the guy who did a mass shooting and ended up dead, become the grown up man who fought your demons and won (and FYI, ladies think it’s hella sexy when a man has conquered his own demons).  Besides, we already have ENOUGh songs about mass shootings, we have Jared Leto and his hair about to star in a goddamn movie about that mass shooting at that movie theater in Colorado…it’s enough already.

3 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About Jeremy

  1. I agree that these mass shootings have a lot to do with toxic masculinity in our culture. I think that it makes men believe that they are entitled to take other people’s lives, just because they are angry. In that sense, the anger is abusive, because it is based on entitlement. I can’t say what the core motivating factor of these men was, but I don’t think that mental illness was what really did it (although I do think that mood is a factor). Lots of women have mood and personality disorders, but they often take their anger out on themselves. I think that the direction of violence is gendered in that way.


    1. The anger is abusive…these young men direct their anger outward onto unsuspecting society. If it’s not mental illness, then it’s mood disorder, or it’s simply the fact that they don’t learn healthy ways to deal with their anger. We as a society need to teach our children better, how to better deal with their anger, so that we don’t have the problems of young men taking their anger out on society and women turning their anger inward. We teach kids how to pass standardized tests, but we don’t teach them how to be healthy individuals, and we end up with kids who can pass the tests and then go on to shoot up the school or slit their wrists. Things like how to deal with anger and healthy ways to handle depression/anxiety should be part of a complete education, because kids don’t get that at home.

      Liked by 1 person

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